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Watercolour Paintings  

Peter's Blog

My first watercolour portrait

Last Saturday, (16 July) I went to a day workshop 'Painting portraits in watercolour', led by award-winning portrait artist Louise Saward.  I enjoyed the day, although I wasn't happy with my first attempt when I had a go at painting my younger son, Andy, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. This is my second attempt a couple of days later.


June 2022

This painting, 'A House in Hornsea' is to feature in Leisure Painter Magazine (August 2022 edition) on sale from 17 June. It is also  on the back cover of a new East Riding publication! 

The painting is available to buy - see home page

Exhibition News! - April 2022

18 December 2021

Ferens Gallery (Hull) Open Exhibition

I'm thrilled that these 2 paintings have been accepted for the Ferens Gallery Open Exhibition 2022, especially as I initially received an email telling me that none of the 3 that I submitted were accepted.  It was a week later that I received another email saying that they'd made a mistake with some notifications, and that 2 of my paintings were included after all.  Next job is to arrange framing!

This painting sold in the exhibition!

17 Dec 2021

I started this painting as an experiment. It's so different from the architectural painting I usually do.  I've rarely ever tried to draw and paint people.  The response to the painting online has encouraged me to consider including people in paintings more often. 

18 August 2021

I've decided to experiment with abstract watercolour, producing a few paintings based on the Industrial Estate, Hull photos & paintings that I've already worked on.  I painted this one without looking again at the original photo. I simply recalled the scene to memory, trying to capture something of the lines, shapes, colours, and atmosphere that the visit to the industrial estate left me with.  

Hull Abstract1

2 May 2021

I'm really pleased that this painting of a garage door in Hornsea has been accepted for the Ferens Gallery Open Exhibition 2021.

I saw this door when out on a walk and took a photo. I didn't give it any attention for a few days but then when looking again through photos saw that I could make something of it. I'm curious to knoe who Elliott & Dobby are (If they're both people). I'd like to let them know that their graffitti artwork will be indirectly on display in Hull through this painting fronm July - Oct 2021.

The picture below is also to be in the exhibition was seen on the same walk and is only 100m from the garage door!

3 December 2020

Another painting completed as a commission and bought as a Christmas present. The house in on Quarterbridge Rd. Douglas (Isle of Man).

The buyer was delighted with it saying, 'It looks fabulous'

1st December 2020

A commission of a house (also B&B) in Tholt y Will (Isle of Man)

This was ordered to be given as a Christmas present 2020

It was quite a challenge to paint mainly because of all the trees in the background which could easily have spoiled the painting.

The buyer was delighted with it and said:-

'The painting has arrived and I’m blown away, it’s absolutely stunning! The detailing is perfect.

18 June 2020

Completed this scene of the AirBnb that

Rosi & I stayed in for almost a week when we arrived in New Zealand in December 2017.

It brings back happy memories of a fantastic trip but the painting isn't quite 'singing' for me. I think its that the light & shadows aren't sufficiently clear to capture the stron sunlight in the photo I had.

29 May 2020

The building of a super new leisure centre on the seafront in my home town of Hornsea is almost complete. It was due to open in April but the Coronavirus put a stop to that! When it does eventually open, Hornsea Art Society (H.A.S.) will be displaying a large piece made up of 50 paintings!

H.A.S. is fifty years old this year and 50 members were allocated a year in the last 50 and asked to produce a painting reflecting any event in their given year. I was allocated 1995.

Searching the internet, major 1995 events include, Oklahoma terrorist bomb; trial of O.J. Simpson; assassination of Israeli president etc. However, also listed was the release of the first Toy Story film. This is my painting!

!0 May 2020

During lockdown, when it's not possible to meet together in person, Hornsea Art Society is holding a monthly online competition. The theme for the month of May is 'Fake it'. Artists are asked to complete a piece of work 'in the style of' a famous artist. It's not to be a copy of one of the artists' paintings but your own work in their style. This is my attempt in the style of Edward Hopper!

I enjoyed doing this and its about the first time I've included a human figure in a painting. Perhaps it's time to include the occasional figure in my own work?!

11 April 2020

I've been experimenting with cityscapes and colour. This painting is based on a photo taken in New York. I particularly liked the composition.

I find that some photos of paintings tend to flatter the original and others don't show the painting at its best. This one looks better to me in the original. It's quite a large watercolour i.e. 41 x 55cm

9 April 2020

I'm very aware that I haven't written a blog for several weeks. The significant changes to our lives thrown up by the impact of Coronavirus have meant that, for me, writing an art blog each day has suddenly become less important. However, I've kept going with the painting. (see Gallery 2020).

Yesterday I got out all the paintings I've completed recently and spread them out on the living room floor. I was surprised how many there are. Am I allowed to say, I like them!!

I'll be doing some more in the coming days and may even get going with this blog more regularly again!

27 February 2020

Yesterday I came across this photo on flickr. It's by Liverpool photographer, Beverley Goodwin. I thought it an ideal basis for a watercolour. I contacted Beverley asking permission to use it and received a prompt, positive reply.

I'm now wondering how to adapt it. I've wondered about showing the top of the wall as derelict (i.e. no roof), allowing for a narrow line of blue along the top. I'm also wondering about light/shadow. - More thinking to do before painting!

26 February 2020

I've been experimenting with cropping photos to produce compositions that appeal to me. Here's an example which I painted today. It's a section of a house in Aldeburgh (Suffolk). I took the photo on a visit earlier this month. I like the shape & shadows. Rosi & I lived in Aldeburgh for a short time - another place by the sea!

22 February 2020

I've taken a break from the daily blog for half term but I haven't taken a break from art. I completed this watercolour of Milntown, Isle of Man today. (see sketch 9 Feb). I've wanted to paint this for some time. As someone who likes painting light and shadow this subject was a treat!

17 February 2020

I was so pleased to hear today that my painting 'Robin Hood's Bay' (top left in photo) sold at the Ferens Gallery Hull on the first day of the Ferens 2020 Open Exhibition. The exhibition is on until the end of April and is well worth a visit. There are some great pieces of art! (More than 350 to see!)

15 & 16 February 2020

Completed this watercolour of a scene near Barton on Humber today.

The buildings, grassy bank and river form a composition that appealed to me.

It's not typical of my usual subject but I enjoyed giving it a go!

14 February 2020

Experimented today with cropping most recent painting ('Rooftops & Chimneys ' Robin Hood's Bay') to create abstract watercolour. I find some of the results interesting. - This is something worth pursuing!!

12 & 13 February 2020

Completed this watercolour today having drawn it yesterday. I'm quite pleased with the composition and atmosphere.

I certainly enjoyed painting it!

11 February 2020

This is a black & white photo of my next painting. Its the Esplanade in Hornsea (Less than 5 mins from our home). The houses overlook the sea so when I took the photo the sea was behind me.

I wrote a little about this photo on 21 Jan. I now include a black & white because I find that it's a really good way of picking up tonal values before painting. It also helps me with drawing.

I'll include stages of painting this one in tomorrow's blog.

10 February 2020

'Happy accident' is a phrase used to describe things that apparently go wrong in painting (e.g. spilling a bit of paint on the work in progress) but which result in the picture being enhanced in some way.

Several months ago I completed the painting of a tower and house next to Aldeburgh beach (Suffolk). I was quite pleased with it. However, yesterday, it was damaged as fire kindling was accidentally dropped on it, marking a section of the upper left. I was disappointed. However, I later cropped the paper the height & width resulting in the painting lower left. I prefer this to the original size, as there is now less 'empty' space on the right. Reducing the height (amount of sky) also seems to have contributed to what I think is a more satisfying composition.

An unusual 'happy accident'.

9 February 2020

This is a sketch of Milntown (Isle of Man). I took a photo of this building in bright sunshine a few years ago and, looking back, I think it could make a really good painting. Its mostly white with shadow but the green growth will add a further dimension

8 February 2020

Gallery 49 (Bridlington)

‘Fragile Enchantments’

8th February - 25th April 2020

Paintings and original prints by Rob Moore and Wendy Tate


Went to the preview of this exhibition today and visited other galleries in Old Town, Bridlington. I enjoyed seeing a lot of art!

Most noteable artists for me was Lynne Wixon

7 February 2020

Completed this watercolour of rooftops and chimneys in Robin Hood's Bay today. Its the first time I've painted every stone of a building separately! It felt a bit like doing a jigsaw. At least there are no missing pieces!  

6 February 2020

A beautiful sunny day today so went for a walk along Hornsea seafront. Watched a tractor tow this boat in from the sea. (There's no harbour or pier in Hornsea).

I took a photo and sketched this in my sketchbook from the photo when home.

4 February 2020

Another sketch of buildings done today. This is from a photo of cottages in Robin Hood's Bay. I'll probably paint this in the coming days. The cottage front left with the tall chimneys is white whereas the rest are coloured brick/stone. There are also shadows not shown on this sketch which should bring the scene to life!

I seem to be going through a phase of selecting square compositions: perhaps because my sketchbook is square.

2 February 2020

Visited Aldeburgh yesterday and drew this sketch in my sketchpad today in about 5 mins.

I have a feeling that continuing the discipline of drawing every day (even if just for a few mins) will lead to improvements in a few moths. If not, its good fun and I'm enjoying the challenge and discipline!

1 February 2020

I enjoyed visiting another gallery/gift shop near the top end of Steep Hill, Lincoln. There was some interesting art and crafts but it was the photographs by Jane Wright ( that I liked most. Jane was on duty in the shop which was quiet at the time. We had an interesting chat about art, photography and selling. Jane particularly likes dilapidation and dereliction as subject matter for her photos.

Jane told us of Lord Docks, Hull which is an area of dereliction - good for photos & perhaps painting!

(photo 'A difficult Climb' by Jane Wright)

31 Jan 2020

On the way to Suffolk we had a stop in Lincoln and discovered a new gallery near the castle where we met artist Sam Randall (

Sam's paintings are quite dark and atmospheric like the one on the lft of a tower block. Sam paints 'ordinary scenes in a similar way to artist George Shaw.

30 Jan 2020

I took printed these 2 photos a few days ago, and although I'm now staying in Suffolk for a few days, I'm looking forward to painting them when I get home. On the left is Hornsea URC church from the park and on the right is a scene in Robin Hood's Bay.

29 Jan 2020

Travelled to Suffolk today and, as usual, stopped in Lincoln for a coffee on the way. I did this 5 min sketch later in the day from a photo on my phone.

I had two really interesting conversations about art in 2 different galleries in Lincoln today. First with photographer, Jane Wright

( and later with Sam Randall ( in another gallery near the castle.

A good journey and a good day!

28 Jan 2020

Did this quick colour version of the Hull Pier picture in my small sketchbook today using Vibrant Jungle pens for the colour.

I'll probably have a go at a similar picture for a full watercolour painting at a later stage. I'd like first to look at work by other artists who've painted pier structures.

I feel that there's a lot of potential for structure and use of colour.

27 Jan 2020

This pen sketch was completed in about 5 minutes. Its based on the photo on the small pier structure in Hull posted on 24 Jan.

There's something quite liberating about doing a sketch quickly in a notebook. I think its because:-

a) It doesn't matter if it doesn't work!

b) Its not planned or completed as a 'finished' piece.

c) Drawing quickly stops it becoming 'precious' and prevents me from fussing on detail.

I'll try another tomorrow and add colour with watercolour pens.

26 Jan 2020

In my blog on 21 Jan I mentioned that I'd just come across the art of Patrick wilkins and Adrian Coleman. I love this painting by Adrian Coleman. The composition, colour and subject are so satisfying yet leave the viewer with so much to imagine: i.e.

a) Is this a business or residential building.

b) Does the graffiti on the building to the right suggest an industrial or deprived area?

c) How tall is the building?

d) Whats at ground level?

etc. etc.

Love it!!

25 Jan 2020

I completed the drawing of this painting yesterday and painted it today. Its taken from a photo I took in Berwick on Tweed when visiting my brother, Richard and his wife, Lyn last July.

I don't usually paint square pictures but when I cropped the original photo this one seemed to work as a composition. I think the detail like the cables across the lower foreground add to this one. 

24 Jan 2020

Today I've been looking at photos taken recently with a view to possible paintings. I am quite interested in this structure taken by the river in Hull on Wednesday.

Although quite a complex structure, I feel that it has the potential for a semi-abstract watercolour.

22 Jan 2020

Sketch of Esplanade, Hornsea drawn on watercolour paper today, ready for painting. (Arches rough 140lb) Its aprox 35 x 53cm.

I went to the Ferens Gallery, Hull today to deliver my painting 'Robins Hood's Bay which has been accepted for the 2020 Ferens Open Exhibition.

(Preview - 14 Feb 2020)

21 Jan 2020

I've come across this photo of Esplanade in Hornsea which I think has the potential for an interesting watercolour. It is a satisfying composition, has interesting light and great contrast in tone and colour.

I don't think I'd have considered painting this if I hadn't come across artists PATRICK WILKINS & ADRIAN COLEMAN in recent days. I'm inspired by their treatment of buildings.

I've since come across TONY NOBLE who also paints buildings (and much more!)

20 Jan 2020

Completed this drawing of the photo taken on Saturday and posted in yesterday's blog. Its done on Arches watercolour paper and is 35 x 55cm.

All ready for painting in the next few days.

Before painting I'd like to have another drawing complete and ready to paint so that I have 2 on the go at once. This makes each a little less precious!

19 Jan 2020

I took this photo yesterday and feel that it has good potential for a painting. I'll miss out the boat on the left and the shapes above fence level on the right.

The central rustic building could be a real point of interest with the rustic feel against a plain blue sky.

I also came across 2 artists to follow this [email protected]




Both artists paint interesting buildings in a contemporary way

18 Jan 2020

Today Rosi & I visites The Ropewalk Gallery, Barton on Humber the the preview of an exhibition by Easr Riding Artists (ERA), 'The Bare Level Plain, based on an East Riding author, Winifred Holby.

Also today, I designed this business card to give to anyone interested in following up my art. The reverse side has contact information and website address. I also added the website address in white along the bottom step!

17 Jan 2020

I've added another layer of colour to yesterday's painting and prefer the result. I think it's more interesting and gives a sense of distance.

I'll now return to painting some realistic scenes. But, as always, choice of subject/composition is key to any worthwhile art and worth spending time on - so, perhaps a few more sketches for this blog before an actual painting.

16 Jan 2020

Here is the drawing above but now painted.

Although I like the graded wash of the sky (i.e. dark at the top, quite light on the horizon) I think the bottom section also needs to be darker, becoming lighter near the centre.

I'll complete tomorrow.

I've called this one 'Standing Stones'

15 Jan 2020

This is another version of the drawing done in my sketchbook on 12 Jan (see above). The difference is that this one is larger ans is drawn on watercolour paper ready to be painted tomorrow.

I'm intending to create a calm, mysterious atmosphere.  

14 Jan 2020

First attempt at a painting based on the sketch done a couple of days ago. In another attempt I'm going to include the moon/sun(?), the 'buildings' and tall thin structure (on the left), the 'standing stones' (on the right) but i think it would be better if they formed a band across the middle of the picture with fairly plain (green?) below.

Looking back at the line sketch (12 Jan) I think the simplicity gives it strength.

I'll have another go in the few couple of days.

13 Jan 2020

Last of 4 experimental 'pot' paintings done today. Further experimenting with paints, some of which I've hardly used before i.e. Naples yellow & Prussian Blue. The background is a loose mix of French Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna. I think the two mixed like this has potential for further use.

I've used permanent pen to outline on this one just to see the effect.

Tomorrow its time to begin work on the abstract landscape based on the drawing done yesterday.

12 Jan 2020

Over the past few days I've been giving thought to painting some more abstract landscapes. I found planning and painting the 3 on the 'abstract' page of the site quite challenging but very rewarding. The paintings perhaps look easy to do because they don't appear to require accuracy in drawing. However, my experience is that if I'm to be satisfied with the end result, everything has to be in just the right place and the right colour.

Today I did 5 quick drawings of the sort of composition that I've had in mind for a few days. This is the 5th and, for me the most satisfying. The use of colour is going to be very important. I might try several drafts of the same composition in different colours before completing a final painting.  

11 Jan 2020

A good evening yesterday with artist, Christopher Heald, giving an illustrated talk to Hornsea Art Society. It was good to have a break from demonstration evenings and hear and see a PowerPoint presentation as Chris spoke about his work.

More pots painted today. An enjoyable day in the studio: windy outside, wood-burner on in.side!

I decided to try different colours for background and slightly looser painting of pots.

One more 'pots' to paint before moving on to something else new.

10 Jan 2020

No work in sketchbook today. This morning I took these two paintings to Market Weighton Town Hall as I've submitted them for the first Market Weighton exhibition.

The Withernsea Lighthouse painting is quite a bit larger than the one of Staithes. I've just reproduced the photos the same size because I like the look of the two side by side!

The exhibition is on from 20 Jan - 31 Jan in Market Weighton Town Hall.

For the first time I'll soon have work in three exhibitions:

Beverley (The Treasure House), Hull (Ferens Gallery & Market Weighton. I'm hoping something sells!

Tomorrow Rosi and I are planning a full day in the studio. I think I'll do 2 more still lifes - pots, before moving on to semi-abstract landscape. 

Jan 9 2020

Another painting of pots on watercolour paper. This is the same composition as for the sketch on 2 Jan. I think this works much better.

There's something quite compelling in painting these still lifes. I finish one and just want to start the next. I think its just that the possibilities are so vast even with the same composition if you are prepared to try different colours etc.

The shadows are not actually part of the setting up of the pots. I'm just choosing light direction etc as to what seems best for the composition.

8 Jan 2020

Well, here we are. First attempt at still life and first painting on 'proper paper this year. I really enjoyed doing this and can see the potential for improvement and development. I think my sketched experimenting with colour have helped because I think the colours are a one of the stronger aspects of this.

Originally the background was very smooth and even so I decided to add a little texture/pattern. I think it really adds interest.

I plan to produce another painting on watercolour paper tomorrow: the same three pots and composition as in sketchbook on 2nd Jan.